AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Greenpeace said Thursday a decision from Shell to suspend Alaskan drilling efforts is evidence the arctic campaign was "an albatross around Shell's neck."
James Turner, a spokesman for Greenpeace International, said Shell's efforts in arctic waters off the coast of Alaska have been a curse for the company.
"The arctic has become an albatross around Shell's neck," he said in a statement. "Years of failure have made a major dent in the company's reputation."
Last week, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the U.S. Interior Department did not properly evaluate the scale of oil production that could result in the Chukchi Sea when it sold more than $2.6 billion in development leases in 2008.
Ben van Bueden, Shell's newly appointed chief executive officer, said the decision was a setback for its exploration campaign in the region.
"This is a disappointing outcome, but the lack of a clear path forward means that I am not prepared to commit further resources for drilling in Alaska in 2014," he said in a statement.
Greenpeace says arctic oil exploration is an imminent threat to the area's pristine environment. New Zealand actress Lucy Lawless was among the Greenpeace activists arrested in 2012 for scaling Shell's drillship Noble Discoverer to protest the company's Alaskan campaign.
Kulluk, another of Shell's arctic drillships, ran aground off Alaska while being towed to Seattle in December 2012. The grounding followed a 2012 exploration season in the arctic waters of Alaska that was complicated by equipment failures.